One of the unsung characters of ’90s animation is getting her own show. MTV Studios has just announced that the much-beloved “Daria universe” has birthed a new spinoff: Icon of black excellence Jodie Landon will be immortalized in Jodie, voiced and executive produced by Tracee Ellis Ross.
As a statement from MTV suggests, the show will pick up not long after where Daria left off, following Jodie as she enters her first job in tech “to satirize the post-college workplace and personal adventures of Gen Z.”
What “Daria” did for exploring the inanity of high school, “Jodie” will do for exploring the trials and tribulations of a first job. “Jodie” will satirize workplace culture, Gen Z struggles, the artifice of social media and more. With themes of empowerment across gender and racial lines, explorations of privilege, and a wicked sense of humor, “Jodie” marks the first adult animated sitcom to center around an African American female lead in nearly two decades. At its heart, “Jodie” will shine a light on the personal and professional issues all young people face in today’s complex, socially-conscious world.
The spinoff will be the first of several new series and films inspired by the mature-beyond-its-years Daria franchise, which has cult-like status among many of us Gen X-ers who came of age with the original. For this reason, enlisting fellow Gen X-er and #blackgirlmagic icon Tracee Ellis Ross to star and executive produce feels like a special stroke of genius
“Given the passion for these characters, there was only one person who could build upon the legacy to reimagine Jodie for a whole new generation, and that person is Tracee Ellis Ross,” said Chris McCarthy, president of MTV. “This marks another exciting step forward for MTV Studios as we build out a wide new slate based on the rich characters from the history in MTV Animation.”
“I am thrilled to bring this project to life with MTV, both as executive producer and by voicing Jodie’s character,” said Ellis Ross in a statement. “Being able to give voice to fresh, feminist and unexplored stories of young women excites me. Jodie will spin-off from the cult classic Daria, and with the brilliant, sweet and sarcastic black girl magic that is Jodie Landon, we will feature a diverse cast, comprised mainly of unapologetically smart and ambitious young female characters who are vulnerable and flawed and interesting and funny.
“As a very cool bonus, Jodie will be the first adult animated show in almost 20 years that will star a black woman,” the Golden Globe winner added. “It will be a smart, funny workplace comedy full of commentary about everything from gentrification to sex to tech to call-out culture.”
And there is black girl magic behind the scenes, too; Grace Nkenge Edwards, currently writer and co-producer for HBO’s Insecure, is the creator and head writer of Jodie. MTV’s Trevor Rose, Morgana Rosenberg and Amy Doyle are on board as executive producers.
Still don’t understand why Jodie Landon deserves a show of her own? Check out a 20th-anniversary tribute to her by Buzzfeed, celebrating one of our previously unsung heroines.